April 20, 1999. July 20, 2012. December 14, 2012. June 12, 2016. February 14, 2018. April 15, 2021. May 9, 2021. All these dates have one thing in common: gunmen going into the public space and load bullets into the bodies of men, women and children. Our country has a problem. While it is true that having a weapon comes under our second right of amendment, the narrative that large assault rifles are only used for self-defense is the complete opposite of what has been going on in this country for years. This year alone there were almost 150 mass shootings, about one every day of the year. From 2019 to 2020 there was a massive increase in mass shootings, hence an increase in the robbery of Americans.
The second amendment gives Americans the right to own a gun, but there are many countries around the world proving that their citizens don’t need guns to be protected. (Colin Lloyd)
Why did the second amendment take effect? Back when the United States became a new country, many of the founding fathers felt it was unnecessary to maintain a standing army. Instead, they believed Americans should hold guns to defend themselves against enemies. However, that stance was brushed aside before the amendment was even ratified. In 1789, the United States raised its standing army, which did not really make it necessary for the average person to face an enemy of the country. Many Americans also believed, and some still do today, that guns are important in the event a tyrannical government is overthrown. Even so, the US government has weapons that can do far more damage than an AR-15.
There are two main reasons our country is facing this atrocity, and those reasons are untreated mental health issues and the extremely lax gun laws in the most troubled states.
The state of Colorado has experienced some of the worst gun violence in the country’s history. Long guns (rifles) do not require permits and purchase permits, you do not need to register handguns or even long guns, and open carrying is permitted for both types of gun. The proportion of gun ownership in Colorado is approximately 45%. In Alaska, that percentage has increased by about 20 points. According to gunstocarry.com, Alaska ranks 5 stars on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 is the friendliest to guns). It is also the state with the most armed violence. In a video entitled Derek Chauvin Trial, Adam Toledo and Mass Shootings, Youtuber Jimmy Snow mentions the shooting at the Omaha Mall that took place on April 17, 2007, killing 9 people at the location. This includes the Sagittarius who committed suicide.
Many shooters end their rampage by killing themselves. Student Assistance Coordinator advisor Mr. Connor Wills explains untreated Mental health problems are the reason many of these Sagittarians lose their sanity and commit these acts of violence. The 2018 parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz has a long history of mental health issues that were left untreated. Mr. Wills believes that adult students with mental health problems should pay more attention to avoid harming themselves or others.
Colorado is one of the most gun-friendly states in the United States. About 45% of the Coloridians have a weapon. (Kait Herzog)
Gun violence in the US is not new. Jimmy Snow said Americans are desensitized, and Mr. Wills agrees, “When a lot of us hear that there was another mass shooting, it feels like any other day.”
We cannot let this go on. We can no longer see men, women and children dying from the easily accessible firearms and feeling like it was just another day.